Movie Double Pass Giveaway

August 6th, 2007

Thanks to the kind generosity of the people at Palace Films, we've got 10 double passes to sneak previews of the documentary Forbidden Lie$ to give away.

Wander over to: Lie$ for your chance to win one of the passes.

Frantic, Katherine Howell

August 6th, 2007

Just posted a review of this terrific debut novel on the main AustCrimefiction site:

Highly recommend you read up about this one - great book!

Connections, Bob Bottom

August 5th, 2007

Just posted a review of this 1985 Australian True Crime book:

Vodka Doesn't Freeze, Leah Giarratano

August 3rd, 2007

Author: Leah Giarratano
Publisher: Bantam
Edition released: 2007
ISBN: 978-1-86325-583-7
322 pages
Review by: Karen Chisholm

Nobody could possibly call reading VODKA DOESN'T FREEZE a pleasure - it's an absolutely heartbreaking and very discomforting book. The author is a trauma psychologist who works with victims, and victims are very much the focus of VODKA DOESN'T FREEZE.

A young girl, victim of sexual abuse kills herself. Her psychologist Mercy treats patients who have suffered trauma, but Mercy seems to be very close to breaking in her own right. A middle-aged man is beaten to death in his hiding spot in the scrub, overlooking a children's pool. This is not a victim for whom anybody feels much compassion - a paedophile who, it turns out, has connections to a major paedophile ring. The main investigator on the case, Sargeant Jill Jackson daily fights her own demons, the legacy of being kidnapped and repeatedly raped by paeodophiles as a young girl, she manages her ongoing trauma via a series of her own obsessions - exercise, control of her environment, 100% concentration. Soon Jill, and her partner Scotty, have more murders to solve - but the victims are all paeodophiles and really - does anybody care? As the investigation continues, a ring of paedophiles, many of them successful businessmen, leaders and the privileged in society, is revealed and Jill's own past is brought more and more into the present.

There is absolutely no doubt that the central theme of this book is the damage that is done by sexual abuse. The author has provided a dense, complex concentration on human damage and the ways that various victims try to cope with their own lives - VODKA DOESN'T FREEZE is a harrowing book because of it. All of the central characters of this book have been damaged, hurt, are struggling to cope with their pasts, the methods that they choose to cope starkly drawn and discomfortingly believable. There are some parts of this book that many readers will find distressing, the grooming of young children, the kidnap of a young boy....

This harrowing and detailed concentration on the victim is what could make VODKA DOESN'T FREEZE potentially difficult for the average reader. The damage and suffering of the victims is undoubted, the experience of the psychologist and other support personnel who work to help these people must be appalling, but the concentration on the abuse itself made the plot of the murder disappear and VODKA DOESN'T FREEZE became less of a crime fiction book and more an analysis of the affects of crime on a victim. Sometimes the shape shifting of expectation in a category - such as crime fiction - is a good thing, it can refresh, provide the reader with a different viewpoint, a different consideration, challenge the readers expectations and drag you out of your comfort zone to consider the unconsidered. VODKA DOESN'T FREEZE is perhaps too heavy handed, too harrowing, too hard, too peopled with damage and suffering, too distressing for many readers, which would be a pity as the message is obviously important. There is a second book in the works, and I'll be reading that one as well when it comes out, as there is something being said by this author.

RD Wingfield

August 2nd, 2007

Fans of the magnificent Frost books (and the TV series) will undoubtedly be very saddened to hear of the death of the writer - Rodney Wingfield in the last few days - he was 79 years old. Huge loss for his family and loved ones, and a huge loss for fans of his books. Stuart MacBride's written the most marvellous tribute that I can highly recommend everyone read: